A Weekend Unplugged

We arrived home from our family get-together weekend yesterday afternoon. Everything at home was as we left it, which is always a good thing. Our family get-together was wonderful. There was no cell phone service, nor any internet, and so we spent the weekend talking, eating good food, playing a few games, hiking, and more than anything, laughing.

Mike and I headed out around noon Friday toward central Oregon. It's a pretty drive over the Santiam Pass. Central Oregon boasts several mountains, and Mt. Washington can be seen poking over the horizon.

We arrived around 4:00 p.m. on Friday. The house we'd rented on Tumalo Lake was lovely, and perfect for our needs.

Everyone had their own room and bathroom. When we came through the front door and looked to the right, this is what we saw. A fire was already burning in the wood stove.

To the left was a little window seat, which was nice for putting on and taking off wet boots and coats. We expected snow on the ground, but found only a few little patches.

There was a huge deck wrapping around the front of the house with gorgeous cedar beams. There was pretty wood carpentry throughout the house.

As we walked around to the other side of the deck, we found the hot tub and a huge stack of firewood. There was also a gas grill.

We brought our own food and cooked it there. The kitchen was a lot tidier before Mike and I hauled in all of our crap.

There was a comfortable living room on the lower level.

The lower level had one bedroom. The doors on the far wall led out to the hot tub.

There was another seating area on the upper level.

And two more bedrooms, each with its own full bathroom.

I finished stitching the binding on Psycatdelic the first night there, which was convenient since I had lots of hands to hold it up for its picture.

Rain was in the forecast for the weekend, but the weather couldn't have been nicer. We had beautiful weather Saturday. After breakfast, we hiked the 2-mile loop around Tumalo Lake. There's Mae checking out the water's edge.

Here are the Stanbro Men.

The forest here appears to have been clear cut and replanted some time ago. There was some old growth, however.

 It was a fairly easy hike.

Tumalo Lake is a small lake, essentially a low spot in the ground, fed by snow melt from several creeks. 

We passed by this one downed tree...a big one.

When we reached the far side of the lake, we were in the sun.

The temperatures were a little chilly, but the exertion warmed us, and the sun felt good.

The Brothers Stanbro

Our cabin was at the far end of a dead end road, and the loop trail extended beyond the end of the road. When we got to the far side of the lake, we could see our cabin.

When we'd hiked about 3/4 of the way, we had this view of the lake and mountains beyond.

There were canoes provided, but the owner recommended not going out onto the lake. He explained that it had only recently thawed from being iced over for the winter, and so the water was approximately 40 degrees...a quick case of hypothermia awaited anybody who capsized a canoe.

I had my macro lens along, but we only saw one blooming thing along the trail.

When we'd finished our hike, Erik and I drove the 15 miles into Bend to the Bend Brewing Company where he picked up some beer.

On the way back to the cabin, we had a good view of the Three Sisters.

We found Mike relaxing in the small bit of sunshine that fell on the front deck.

We ended up moving all of our chairs to the far side of the house where the sun was comfortably warm, but intense.

Later in the afternoon, the sun shining through the leaves caught my attention.

Everyone took a turn in the kitchen, and since it was in full view of the living room, we laughed and critiqued the knife skills of each "performer" Food Network style.

Mae did all the prep work for Sunday's breakfast of huevos rancheros. Mike made margaritas.

Matthew and Valerie hammed for the camera.

We had a wonderful dinner of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, and Valerie's beet risotto, which was delicious. 

When we awakened Sunday morning, it was snowing. By the time we checked out at 11:00, it was already melted.

And then we headed for home. This weekend was an experiment. We decided not to exchange gifts last Christmas, and instead to pool our money into a weekend together. It was a lot of fun, and I expect this will become a family tradition.

And now it's time to choose a winner in my giveaway. Mr. Random has spoken and selected:


Thanks to all who visited during the blog hop.

In addition to finishing the binding on my quilt this past weekend, I did a fair amount of stitching on the Gingerbread Square block. This morning I finished the last of it. This is the second of nine blocks.

Fun, huh? The next time I work on this one, I'll be stitching the Holly Garland House.

As long as I had that one finished, I made up the 9th of ten stitcheries for the Vintage Tin quilt. This is the largest of the ten stitcheries. When it's finished, it will be trimmed to 24.5 x 16 inches.

These are so large and complicated that I've been using Sticky Fabri-Solvy for the transfers. This one took four sheets with just a little bit of overlap. Unfortunately, it's hard to keep the sheets from shifting when it's hooped, and so I always start stitching where they come together. You can see in this image below that this one is already shifting a little.

By leaving plenty of overlap, I can adjust my stitches as I need to without hurting the design at all.

Finally, I'm getting ready to make the 9th block for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. This one is a little hard to read, and so I'm waiting for Lisa to get back to me with answers to some questions. 

I'm still considering the best way to do this, but I think it will be a combination of embroidery, applique, and perhaps a little coloring.

But before I can do anything more in the sewing room today, I absolutely must do something about the wreck I used to call our home. Being gone for the weekend means things have "slid" a little...and that's putting it mildly. And now that I have you all caught up, I'm going to go do some catching up myself.

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

Valerie Reynolds said...

Oh I love love family weekends like that! That down tree was amazingly big! Only thing was a picture of you sitting on that deck binding your quilt! SMILES!! So glad your weekend was wonderful! :)

Dasha said...

What an absolutely divine place you found to stay in! Sounds like you all had a wonderful family time together. Precious.

Christine M said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. The house you stayed in and the surrounds are gorgeous.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This is something I would love to do with my kids. Looks like a beautiful house and the setting is just lovely for a relaxing get away.

Janarama said...

A weekend family get together is so much better than gifts. Beautiful home and wonderful scenery to have fun with family.

WoolenSails said...

That looks like a wonderful place to get together.
Enjoy seeing the new blocks as you do them, that is going to be a gorgeous quilt.


Dana Gaffney said...

That looks so wonderful, the house and lake are beautiful. I'm glad to hear you all had a good time, much nicer than the stress of buying presents.

Marei said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time in a beautiful setting! Good for you.....and how do I become a member of the family? Speaking of which (family/long time friends) what's the point if you can't bribe Mr. Random to pick my name? Congrats to the winner....even if it wasn't me. Insert sad face right here.

gpc said...

What a great house and how wonderful to spend time together. We all need more times like that. The cat quilt is fabulous, I love it!

Junebug613 said...

What a fantastic house! Looks like an absolutely fabulous time! So glad you and your family were able to enjoy the weather, location and each other!

maria demina said...

Barbara, thank you for this post! It was such a pleasure to read it. I feel like I have just watched a movie about your weekend :)
Your projects are stunning! And I admire how big they are!

Jacque said...

What a fabulous idea! So much better than stressing about gifts....sharing the gift of each other's company!

legato1958 said...

It's me... Legato1958 ! aka Susie Thanks so much for that fabulous fabric bundle!! I am so excited to see it and "pet it!"
I loved seeing the beautiful scenery and cabin where your family spent the weekend! I must visit the Pacific NW and soak up the beauty from that part of the country.
Your cat quilt is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !!
Thanks again,

Dar said...

Beautiful family, weekend pictures and loads of fun to see. What a fortunate person you are to have such a wonderful opportunity to be with your family in such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

Diane Wild said...

Oh my, what a wonderful getaway. The "cabin" is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

KMSC said...

What a great idea! I'm going to suggest this to my family for next year. My children give us beautiful Christmas gifts but a gift of their time is what I want most.

Brown Family said...

That is a lovely cabin and place to get away! I am glad you all had a great time.

Kate said...

Wow! What a lovely cabin in the woods. We also did the cabin thing last weekend, but in Branson. It's a great way to spend a weekend.

Sarah_L_N said...

Looks like a really lovely weekend away and what a wonderful tradition to start! So nice to have an experience all together :) And I love your quilt finish, so much time and effort you can see poured into it, beautiful. It's much bigger than I thought the whole time you have been showing it in progress, even having Smitty walking on it and 'helping' didn't clue me into the size of the blocks!

quiltzyx said...

What a beautiful location for your family Christmas present! Cool temps & nice sunshine make for a wonderful time outside.
Psycatdelic turned out just as fabulously as I imagined it would! Good on ya!!!